Dragon fruit gets noticed

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Monday, August 15, 2011


A MOTHER’S quest for cure for her daughter’s cerebral palsy brought her fortune and honor.

Edita Dacuycuy, 66, said a friend gave her dragon fruit for her daughter Kate, now 31, because of its medicinal benefits.

After she noticed the improvement in her daughter’s condition, her family decided to grow the climbing cactus known as saniata.

Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia, town mayors and Provincial Board members visited her eight-hectare dragon fruit farm last July in Paayas, Burgos, Ilocos Norte known as the REFMAD Farms.

Garcia invited her to join the One Cebu Expo, with the Provincial Government of Ilocos Norte.

Dacuycuy was this year’s recipient of President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III’s award as most outstanding high-value commercial crop farmer.

She started the farm in 2006. In 2009, she had a net income of P21 million from the sales of fresh dragon fruits, planting materials and processed food products, like ice cream, jam and cookies, said Mimie Dacuycuy, the family’s researcher.

Edita said her participation in the expo gave her additional exposure. She said her daughter Mimie had to fly to Davao while the expo was going on because there was a group who wanted to learn about farming dragon fruits.

She said they are willing to help Cebuanos start a dragon fruit farm, as part of the sisterhood ties between the two provinces.

She said they wanted Ilocos Norte to be the dragon fruit capital in the country, but they want to help other provinces start dragon fruit farming because of its nutritional benefits.

Edita said dragon fruit was once considered a fruit for royals, but Filipinos should know about it now.

“I’m very much willing to share about dragon fruit farming and its farming technology,” she said.

During the two-week expo, the fresh fruits and their by-products were a big hit.

Around 600 kilos of fresh fruits and more than a thousand cuttings were sold, she
said.

She said she received invitations from farm owners and entrepreneurs in Cebu. She said SM Cebu is interested in their products.

She said she’s happy more people are interested in developing the industry. She said Cebu is an ideal place for dragon fruit farming.

During the exhibit, flyers were distributed to inform the public about the health benefits of dragon fruits, like its ability to prevent cancer cell formation and hypertension.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on August 15, 2011.

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